Early Childhood and Family Center - Where Learning is Joyful

Our Mission:

UNM-Gallup Early Childhood and Family Center (ECFC) serves young children of students, faculty, staff and community with care and learning using best practices and a Reggio Emilia inspired approach. It trains student and early childhood professionals in knowledge and research of early childhood development and education and raises community awareness of young children's needs.

Our Vision:

UNM-Gallup Early Childhood and Family Center plans to become a comprehensive model for replication statewide in New Mexico. Best practices, family support, teacher training, and community outreach are key components. The center strives for a 5-star rating and National Association for Education of Young Children accreditation. Plans to study development of an Educare School inspired by Reggio Emilia philosophy that will serve 100-150 children in Gallup will grow from this smaller ECFC model.

Early Childhood and Family Center

Early Childhood and Family Center

Our Values:

  • Treats all children with affection, dignity and respect;
  • Uses best practices and Reggio Emilia inspired approach to learning;
  • Teams with parents – children’s first teachers – to support healthy growth and development for their young children;
  • Provides a safe and inspiring environment at school and promotes the same for home and community;
  • Has an open-door policy for local business people, professionals, and community workers to visit the school and engage children with their work or interests.

Our Philosophy:

ECFC believes in environments for intentional learning, self-directed learning and Reggio Emilia inspired interaction between teacher and child. The school, the child’s second home, becomes a comfortable, safe, warm, engaging, and stimulating learning experience for the children and parents served. ECFC brings teachers and parents together as learning companions. Together they work to inspire thinking and to encourage emotionally intelligent children with the use of Mindful Discipline.

Our Goals:

  • Provide children with the opportunity to make appropriate choices;
  • Provide a safe, healthy, comfortable, responsive, and stimulating cognitive environment;
  • Encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment through engagement with their peers, teachers, and environment;
  • Respect, accept, and appreciate each child and the cultural heritage of that child;
  • Provide learning experiences designed to promote physical, cognitive, emotional, and social growth using Reggio Emilia approach to learning and best practices for early learning;
  • Maintain an environment free of racial or sex role bias, stereotype or prejudice;
  • Respect, accept, and appreciate each child’s strengths and cultural heritage;
  • Provide assessments twice a year to recognize each child’s learning;
  • Set limits that encourage emotionally intelligent choice and behavior.
  • Provide high quality care for children while parents pursue their studies at UNM-Gallup;
  • Provide evaluations for their child’s developmental interests and strengths;
  • Provide support for their child’s learning style;
  • Provide opportunities to make connections with other parents;
  • Provide opportunities to learn and understand child development through planned support programs.
  • Provide professional training to promote their life-long learning;
  • Participate in State and National initiatives allowing for feedback and input on early childhood practice;
  • Provide an outstanding work and early childhood environment that serves as a model for our community and state;
  • Provide an environment for research, study and training for UNM.
  • Create a strong partnership with families and clear communication about the importance of children’s early learning experiences;
  • Provide a model for early childhood education and comprehensive child care services;
  • Provide leadership in promoting best practice using views and research that support early learning;
  • Provide leadership for high quality professional roles in early childhood.

Please contact Kelly Dineyazhe-Hunter , Site Manager, at (505) 863-7632 or dine2016hunter@unm.edu. The center is located on UNM-Gallup Campus at 705 Gurley Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301.